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- How to be your real self.
- How to love, and get along with, other people.
- How to enjoy your life. This isn't trivial!
- How to be self-aware (but not self-conscious).
For further information, visit Ellen Abrams's website.
Since you're checking out a counselling web site, it's likely that you've tried to work out your problems by yourself but found that it hasn't been so easy or simple. Symptoms, like stress, insomnia, being overly hard on yourself, anxiety, or sexual problems, are signals that something needs attention. This is where therapy comes in.
With a friendly curiosity we can inquire into your problematic thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviours. My approach focuses on your lived experience, and together we can discuss questions like: Who are the significant people in your life, what environments are you spending time in? What hook are you caught on? It might be a situation in the present. It could be unfinished business from the past. Quite often it’s both (but not always).
What I offer is a time and place to meet, and my attention in service to you and the problems that are prompting you to seek help. Between us we may discover new insights and clarity that can lead towards recovery and real healing - genuine change for the better. In the process you would begin to feel that you’re no longer “on the hook” and that your life is flowing again, perhaps for the first time in a long time.
It’s my experience that underlying any specific problem, most people seem to grapple with four basic issues:
Problems in these areas can manifest in various ways. For example: doing what you don't want to do and not doing what you do want to, loneliness, being extremely hard on yourself, not knowing why you keep hurting yourself through bad habits (including getting into bad relationships, or no relationships). Everything is workable!
There are many approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. Nearly all the research in these areas confirms that a strong relationship between client and therapist (AKA the therapeutic alliance) leads to the best treatment outcomes. In other words, the more comfortable and trusting you feel with your therapist, the more you are likely to benefit from psychotherapy.
If asked about my philosophy of psychotherapy, I don’t think I could do better than to quote R. D. Laing, who deeply understood that it’s how we treat one another that matters. He wrote: “Psychotherapy must remain an obstinate attempt of two people to recover the wholeness of being human through the relationship between them.” That’s the plan.
I like to speak with new people for 10-15 minutes by telephone prior to booking a first appointment. You can tell me a bit about what’s bringing you to counselling and ask any questions you may have. To arrange an initial phone call, or book an appointment, you can reach me through the contact information provided on this site.
I am registered with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (#2360).